Baseball

Sun Belt Collegiate Baseball League: Sherrick Sanborn came up big on opening night

Sherrick Sanborn throws against former Ironwood Ridge standout Greg Brown. Brown plays for Gateway. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Boom beat Tucson Champs 8-0 to open up play at the Sun Belt Collegiate Baseball League sponsored by the Kino Baseball League. The Sun Belt League is part of 16 collegiate leagues that make up the National Baseball Congress (NBC).

The Sun Belt Collegiate League will receive an automatic berth to the NBC World Series to be played in Wichita, Kansas from July 22 to August 6.

The Sun Belt League features seven teams comprised of former Southern Arizona high school standouts currently playing or entering the collegiate level. Complete rosters can be found HERE.

Former Willcox standout pitcher Sherrick Sanborn (Mesa) picked up 10 strikeouts in six innings of work to keep the Tucson Champs off the basepaths. Former Sahuaro standout Sam Kalberer (Scottsdale) went 2-for-3 with a double to lead the Champs. Former Catalina Foothills standout Chris Kowalcek and former Tucson standout Jacob Federico (Pima) had the other two singles for the Champs.

Boom took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, paced by and RBI double from former Willcox standout Daniel Diaz (Cumberland). Former Nogales standout Justin Felix (Arkansas State) hit a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-0 and former Canyon del Oro standout Tyler Porter (Long Beach State) capped off a four-run eighth inning with a three-run shot.

Porter finished 3-5 to lead Boom at the plate. Former Nogales standout Rafael Padilla (Pima), former Sahuaro standout Winston Welch (Arkansas State) and former Salpointe standout Paulo Rodriguez (NM Military Institute) also picked up hits for Boom.

Rodriguez threw the last three innings for Boom and he collected three strikeouts in relief. Former Tucson standout Jose Contreras (Pima), former Catalina Foothills standout Will Saul and former Tucson standout Raymundo Leon all saw action on the mound for Tucson Champs. Leon finished with four strikeouts.

Boom (1-0) will take on a traveling team from Colorado on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and Tucson Champs (0-1) will play the Javelinas (1-0) in the main stadium at the same time.

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com

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